NEW YORK, NY (December 20, 2018) – The National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) is proud to announce our new partnership with the National Association of Science Writers. The 2,000-member NASW is the largest organization of science writers in the world. The partnership will officially take effect on January 1, 2019.
NASW consists of freelancers and staff writers at newspapers, magazines, online publications, and book authors. The seeds of the partnership go back to 2017, when 19 unpaid science writers sent an open letter to Nautilus magazine publisher John Steele that was posted on NWU social media. NWU represented the writers and won a settlement for the full amount owed.
NASW’s freelance committee co-chair and board member, Kendall Powell floated the idea with NWU President Larry Goldbetter that the two organizations create “partner memberships” for NASW members while giving other NASW members access to NWU grievance and contract assistance. “This unique partnership marries NASW’s commitment to supporting its members’ freelance careers and NWU’s ability to negotiate for improved professional working conditions for writers,” said Powell.
“We are excited to work with NASW on this project,” Goldbetter said. “All of our members are freelancers and share these issues in common. The Nautilus case showed that even prior to this partnership, a number of our members had dual memberships in NASW and NWU. I hope this partnership will lead to many more. NWU can be the union of many varied writers organizations. We are all facing an increasingly precarious and uncertain marketplace. We need to put our heads together about how best to meet that challenge.”
The National Writers Union was founded by writers in 1981 as, in the words of Toni Morrison, “an accessible organization that is truly representative of the diverse interests of all writers.” It is affiliated with the United Auto Workers as Local 1981. More information about the National Writers Union can be found at www.nwu.org.